The Politics of Cultural Representation: Visions of Fields Fields of Visions 1

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In this paper, I address the current debates around ethnography and propose a critical feminist ethnography which depends on the alternative narrative strategies suggested by experimental ethnography and the conceptual achievements offered by feminist standpoint epistemology and minor discourse theory. I argue, as have others, that the traditional scientistic-narrativc techniques associated with ethnography actively constrain theoretical knowledges, mystify power relations embedded in the text, while constructing Authorities with totalizing and omniscient vision. Experimental ethnography offers important textual interventions and revisions which challenge the orderliness and constructed Authorities imposed by realist narratives useful for those feminist projects which attempt to deal with the multiplicity of differences/domination. Postmodern feminist standpoint epistemology and minor discourse theory are concerned with recovering and representing historically repressed local knowledges and visions in ways that do not simply translate them into or through dominant critical/feminist theories. Such projects require ongoing critical dialogue among local voices, theory, and the ethnographer in which what counts as knowledge remains contestable and is contested. I argue that textual constructions of such projects must remain heteroglossic (representing multiple visions to readers) in order to potentially revise critical/feminist theory and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-49
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Review for the Sociology of Sport
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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